The evolution of the Super Type has changed name, becoming the new Air type, a high quality and performance kite from RRD. Performance, detailing, technicality, it's all there!
Adjustable carry bag, fully fitted control bar, repair kit, high capacity pump, long leash, user guide / manual
Recommended wind range :
None given by manufacturer
Very good, the wing looks the pro part and the detailing is aesthetically pleasing.
There are 7 inflatable battens and 2 semi rigid ones at the tips. There are two holes in the sail tips which are the 'self rescue' handles you can use to 'parachute' yourself back to the beach in the event of a big wipe out. Two tuning options on the front line attachments for 'less power' and 'more power' settings.
Control bar :
Comes with 25 metre flying lines with 1 metre leader lines. No quick release on the big harness loop. No small / front line loop, what you get instead is a metal ring fixed directly to the ends of the front lines (de-power system) onto which you can attach your quick release carabina. The de-power system itself consists of a strap and buckle which you push / pull. The bar is colour coded red and black at the tips and has soft plastic tip mouldings.
Safety systems :
You need your own quick release clip to attach to the de-power ring on the front lines. The kite leash is attached to one of the rear lines going to your harness. Can be removed and if (not recommended) you decide to ride leashless there's still a grab strap on one of the leader lines you can grab if you do let go altogether.
Design remit :
The new Air Type is designed as a high performance wing which combines power, hang time, upwind and a wide wind range.
Actioning the safety system :
If your quick release clip is reliable the leash will work perfectly and retain but disarm the kite. If you decide not to use the leash (be careful of other riders), remember that the grab strap will help you solo land the kite and retain it in a similar way to a leash. On the other hand, it won't help if your clip is the kind that keeps opening of its own accord, you'll never have the time to grab the strap.
It's a 16.0m2 high aspect ratio so it's no cakewalk, works if you swim really hard towards it.
The Air Type has very good power and a good reserve of power for those wind drops, in which circumstances you need to handle it gently and not power up too much. Powers up quite quickly in light wind and accumulates power and speed to help keep you moving. The power was a bit much for some of the lighter testers who had a hard time getting upwind. That said, riding big kites is a question of familiarity, you need time to acquire the skills.
It's very stable during jumps and when simply cruising. Needs fine tuning to stay stable and even 1 or 2cm might be too much power-up. You forget all about the kite during jumps, it's rock steady.
Handling - General comfort :
The Air Type is fast, pivots quickly and powers up again fast. Handles really well if you avoid pulling it too hard : not too much power up. The 26 metre lines help the speed factor. It's a 'let-go' kite in so much as you must fully de-power to feel its full range, too pulled in and it will lose stability.
Wind range :
Moves forward well all round the window and its de-power system is good. Powers up early and can contain surges and gusts.
Jump - Lift :
Very responsive allowing you to get into jumps quickly when the moment's right. Great long hang, not over high but plenty of air time and potential for complex moves.
A very good wing, steady but high performance. You can get up in light wind and contain the gusts when they come. But never forget how it powers up when the wind fills in. Should please most levels of rider for light wind. Its responsiveness makes flying a 16m2 quite physical but never dangerous. The adjustments are fine (but not complicated) and logical : too open means you've powered-up too far, let it out a little.
Stability and responsiveness
Don't power-up too far and don't hesitate to get airborn!
Recommended skill level :
Experienced to expert
How it fits the design remit :
They forgot to mention the excellent responsiveness!
The testers' verdicts in a sentence
Raymond, 29 years old, 76kg :
"A great kite for light wind ! Fast and responsive."
Caro, 33, 63kg :
"Very fast and comfy to fly for big kite flying. Allows you to really power up during moves and stay up long."
Francois, 28, 70kg :
"Pivots fast and very stable, more than my last year's Super Type."
Damien, 24, 70kg :
"Powerful, stable and fast. Great lift but not altitude. Needs care when adjusting, opens right up if you pull too hard on the rears (either when adjusting the de-power or when riding / pulling with your arms). Anyway, I'm not a big fan of giant kites like a 16, at my size my 14 is the biggest I need."
By : Team Flysurf